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When is “enough” really ENOUGH!

I don’t care how eloquent Van Jones is; if he doesn’t have ending these dirty imperialist wars at the top of the agenda for his new organization there isn’t going to be any change in this country— liberal or Progressive.

At the very top of every liberal’s and Progressive’s “to-do list” is ending these dirty wars.

It is a disgrace all these organizations would be coming together— again— and, again, refusing to address the need to end these dirty wars as their number one priority.

I heard Van Jones’ spiel at the Netroots Nation 2011 national conference in Minneapolis. Must have been pretty much the same smooth talk at Town Hall. Lots of hyperbole; not one single solution. And there won’t be any solutions to specific problems forthcoming because all of these foundation funded outfits are out to accomplish one thing: rope everyone into supporting Obama again— though, none will admit this.

Look, Obama can’t bring liberals, progressives or the left to him based upon his actual policies and legislative record and no Democrat can win without liberal, progressive and left support. So, what is Obama’s game plan? He has all these foundation funded outfits bringing together all these people who think they are involved in struggles to make things better when what brings them in is perfect framing of the issues just like George Lakoff has taught them to do. And just like Lakoff has taught these “leaders” like Van Jones— you properly frame issues around policy directives but you NEVER, EVER provide specific solutions to problems and you ALWAYS call yourself and your framing of issues “progressive.”

Don’t believe this could really be that Democratic Party hacks would actually be advised by Lakoff to leave solving our problems out of politics? Well, just go ahead and read George Lakoff’s book, “don’t think of an elephant! Know Your Values And Frame The Debate” with a forward by none other then Howard Dean.

On the cover of the book it states: The essential guide for progressives. There it is on page 92; read it for yourself. According to Lakoff, which Van Jones and company have learned very well, it’s all about framing “policy directions;” this is the conclusion of the book— talk a good line about “policy directions” but don’t muddy the waters with “specific policies” and solutions to people’s problems.

This is all the same old Obama strategy crap that got him elected the first time.

Obama can’t appeal to liberals, progressives and the left himself because he has attacked us and legislated from the right. So he gets his surrogates to rope everyone in.


Why were these outfits like Progressive Democrats of America founded in the first place? To keep us all in “the one big tent for all.”

What was the role of outfits like Progressives for Obama? To convince millions of Americans that Barack Obama offered “the hope of progressive change.”

It has all panned out to be a scam and the exact same scammers are at it again.

Is it a coincidence that Tom Hayden is one of the initiators of the Progressives for Obama and he ends up on the board of Progressive Democrats of America which is now partnering with Van Jones’ new outfit and once again we are fed “properly framed policy directions” without one single solution and ending these dirty wars is not even mentioned let alone at the top of the “to-do list?”

Another coalition partner, pledged to “cover Obama’s back and living up to the promise— Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO. Has anyone ever heard Richard Trumka mention that these dirty imperialist wars are killing American jobs the same way people are being killed in these wars? Anyone knows that no nation on earth can waste its resources— human and material and financial— on wars and expect to have the resources to take care of people’s needs. This is like taking the wealth of our Nation and tossing it into the deepest depths of the oceans. Would any worker cash her/his check and walk out to the end of Canal Park and toss their week’s pay into the cold polluted waters of Lake Superior? Anyone doing this would be hauled off and labeled insane. Yet, this is exactly what the government of this country is doing. Only instead of tossing the wealth of our Nation into the depths of the oceans, our wealth is lining the pockets of Wall Street coupon clippers who profit from these goddamn dirty wars.


W- Wasted

A- American

R- Resources

A kid living on an Indian Reservation can’t eat bullets for lunch at school but those bullets kill children scrounging for firewood to heat their homes and cook their dinner in Afghanistan.

All of these same “progressives” bought into this thinking brought forward by George Lakoff who has been paid very handsomely as most of these capitalist sooth-Sayers are; and that is why they haven’t “held Obama’s feet to the fire”— actually they never struck the match to light the fire. Same game with a different name. And they are going to attack me or anyone else with the same viciousness they did when we raised questions about Obama to begin with.

Anyone reading the recent posts and comments here on FireDogLake can see what the Progressive Democrats of America— one of Van Jones’ coalition partners in this latest project— is up to.

I am not one to suggest people should remain aloof of any political movement where people are coming together. But, getting involved does not mean buying into this crap where properly framing high-sounding “policy directions” to suck voters in are everything and the urgent and pressing problems which have become a crisis of everyday living for most working people in this country are relegated— at best— to the back burner when the solutions to people’s problems are considered at all.

As has been noted elsewhere by others here on FireDogLake, there are no specific solutions being brought forward buy Van Jones and company; and, without specific solutions to the problems of working people there really is no Progressive agenda because the very word “progressive” implies that problems get solved in a way that creates better lives and improved livelihoods for working people.

At Netroots Nation I doubt if these dirty wars were mentioned ten times. Van Jones skirted the issue of peace as did every other speaker. This is intentional. The labor leadership will not tolerate any mention of the need to end these dirty wars so we can solve the problems here at home.

Van Jones and these other foundation flowers talk about JOBS but dare not mention that these wars are killing our jobs just like they kill people.

The simplest of all questions that is basic and fundamental is never asked of people:

How is Barack Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?

Is there a problem with this question being asked?

Who finds the asking of this important question offensive?

Anyone can walk down the street, stop and talk to people in the grocery store or at the gas pumps or in a hospital emergency room and come up with all kinds of problems, real life problems people are experiencing. And people will tell you the solutions to there problems in one way or another. So, it is not like it is difficult to pin point the problems.

The problems are many and massive which begs the question:

Why aren’t these very educated people like Van Jones talking about the government becoming the employer of first choice putting people to work solving the problems of the people? After all, it is not like we don’t have many problems in common; right?

Here is a Progressive alternative to Wall Street’s reactionary agenda that I put together just from talking to working people where they are employed, in the communities where they live, where they go grocery shopping and buy their gas.

Talk to people and see if I am not spot on with what you find:

A program for real change…

* Peace— end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and shutdown the 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil.

* A National Public Health Care System – ten million new jobs.

* A National Public Child Care System – three to five million new jobs.

* Works Progress Administration – three million new jobs.

* Civilian Conservation Corps – two million new jobs.

* Tax the hell out of the rich and cut the military budget by ending the wars to pay for it all which will create full employment.

* Enforce Affirmative Action; end discrimination.

* Raise the minimum wage to a real living wage

* What tax-payers subsidize in the way of businesses, tax-payers should own and reap the profits from.

* Moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.

* Defend democracy by defending workers’ rights including the right to collective bargaining for improving the lives and livelihoods of working people.

* Roll-back and freeze the price of food, electricity, gas and heating fuels; not wages, benefits or pensions.

* Wall Street is our enemy.

How is Barack Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?

Let’s talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for a real change.

See, this isn’t hard to do. So, why is this so difficult for such educated people like Van Jones, Richard Trumka, Tim Carpenter and Tom Hayden to do?

Even the most simple-minded amongst us understands that when people are suffering you seek a solution to ending their misery; you don’t play politics looking for their vote and not solving their problems in return for their votes.

Working people are entitled to receive something for their votes.

No peace; no votes. No jobs, no votes. This, in a democracy, we call “accountability.”

I gave van Jones my card with my blog address and suggested he check out the program on my blog (the same program as above )… he politely took my card, looked at it, walked away and I saw him toss it in the garbage can. Apparently he didn’t like the question I have on my business cards: How is Barack Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?

These people don’t want to hear about our problems requiring urgent solutions. All that they are concerned with is getting Obama re-elected along with a bunch of worthless Democrats.

To them our problems mean nothing.

To me, Obama and these Democrats aren’t worth a second thought.

If I can’t vote for the kind of country I want where peace, social and economic justice form the basis of decision-making and where my voice means something… I’m going to go to the polls on Election Day 2012 and I am going to stand in line to get my ballot and when I get the ballot in my hands I am walking over to the nearest waste-paper basket and in the ballot goes to the circular file.

Hopefully, we will have a third party alternative— perhaps a ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan so I won’t have to throw my ballot away.

But I’ll be damned if I am going to waste my one precious vote casting it for some shit-ass warmonger who doesn’t give two-hoots about the plight of working people and uses austerity measures to pay for these dirty wars. Not after the living hell this rotten government put me through when I refused to go fight that other dirty war in Vietnam.

I just got done looking over everything about the “Townhall” meeting I could find.

Including the portions of Van Jones’ speech on the FaceBook page; his article in Huffington Post; and the article in the Washington Post.

Just like at Netroots Nation 2011, there is no mention of the need to end these dirty wars.

How can Van Jones or anyone talk of “new New Deals” without talking about ending these wars in order to pay for “new New Deals?” And remember, unlike the “old” New Deal which was very specific as to the required solutions to people’s problems, these charlatans are trying to sell us a “new New Deal” that is nothing more than high-sounding platitudes without any specifics.

Look at health care as just one example. I almost puked when the facilitator of the health care forum at Netroots Nation 2011 said, “We aren’t all that enthusiastic about the ‘Affordable Health Care Act’ but do we want Rick Perry implementing it?”

Well, what about getting specific and start talking about that important part of the old New Deal that corrupt Democrats forced FDR to withdraw? Frances Perkins’ “National Public Health Care Program;” why not table this for the American people to consider? Perkins proposed it be funded just like Social Security.

Or take all this talk about “saving social security;” why is it so difficult for anyone to tell the truth? The only way to save Social Security is to put everyone in this country to work— everyone pays in; everyone gets something out. Very simple to understand that when you have fifteen-million people paying nothing in because they are unemployed while waiting to get something out there is going to be a problem.

I don’t care how eloquent Van Jones is; if he doesn’t have ending these dirty imperialist wars at the top of the agenda there isn’t going to be any change in this country— liberal or progressive.

My suggestion is that anyone who goes to these “meetings, meet-ups, etc.” should take with them this speech that Van Jones’ partners in this present venture didn’t want delivered— the speech by Harry Belafonte at the One Nation rally:

And get yourself a copy of Howard Pawley’s book, “Keep True.” You can get it at your favorite socialist institution— the public library.

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki